Finding My Audiance

chocolate torte

As long as I can think back, I have had the desire to just create amazing food.  The love of great food is all about people.  I love when I cook for my family because it is an extension of my love for them.   I feel that the love of food & family has helped in my walk with Christ because I have grown in faith of who I am as well as how God is using me in my life.

I have had a real struggle with writing of this blog for several months over my personal life.  If you have followed me in the past you have seen me open Marketplace & Company that houses our granola company Granola Box,  a coffee house Marketplace Coffee Company and now it also has in house bakery Butter Bakery,  a Vintage shop Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts, Pesto our Italian Restaraunt as well as Hello Cookie Company

Why so many shops?  Because we are located in a community that has lost its downtown!  We are part of a downtown block that holds a plumbling store, the Marketplace & Company, and a hair salon.  Across the street there is a clock shop that does not see customers at its location.  A American Legion who just celebrated their 100th year with no fan fare and a bar & restaraunt named Reds

Rest of the buildings are since closed with no economic hope of renewal.  Yet this is where we decided to lease space for our granola company.  the building is nearly 100 years old with amazing orignal tin ceilings and a vibe back to the 60 with painted wood panenling.  the bathrooms were probably put in at that times as well.  Its orignal life was that of a state of the art pharmacy 100 years ago and would have had a soda fountain.

With a population of 1,300 people the community has not seen growth.  Highway 26 goes straight thru this community with not a lot of people getting off the highway to do business downtown.  Our orignal thoughts was to produce just granola there.  but being new we are stilling finding our Audiance.  We wholesale our product.  However the goal was to locate Marketplace owners for each section of the market.

As I struggled this first year I tried different things.  When we did our grand opening it was apparent that we needed to be vested,  I believe that you should be vested in the youth of any community.  So we selected the a group of kids that we donated a portion of our proceeds to raising 390.00 for over this past school year.  This did not grow a customer base. I was in hopes that we would see students come in after school to do homework and hang our in the coffee house. I feel that seperate shop owners should be my focus.  My goal is to lease each section of Marketplace to people who will promote and there skill.  So that is what we are doing now.  Seeking

I have found my food love with PESTO our Italian Restaraunt.  I have been cooking Italian for 35 plus years using heritage recipes that we create at Pesto.  The food is real with a growing following.  We operate only in the evening at this time making it a speacial place to come for a group.  If you do something great people will come.  This Audiance is growing.  with Wine and beer being added this summer I hope to see this take our average transaction up!  Business has changed so much and if I was not able to over come my original plan I would be gone by now.

Are we making my investment back?  At this time NO!  The business investment was my retirement plus half of my wage that I make.  In the past you could just go to a bank and they would set you up with line of credit and loan.  I choose to go the seed to ground aproach where we do the work and reap the harvest.  Not an easy approach! However it is a worth the journey-